The Energy Doctor: Creating Healthy HomesOctober 25, 2016
From a very early age, ComEd’s Director of Energy Efficiency George Malek knew he wanted to become an engineer. Little did he know that he also would have an opportunity to become a doctor – specifically, an Energy Doctor!
George’s journey to Doctor began in 2007, when ComEd began promoting the Energy Efficient Showcase of Homes. Through this Showcase, ten Chicago-area homes underwent overhauls to become more energy efficient, with ComEd providing improvements such as energy-efficient lighting, insulation, heating, ventilation, and cooling systems. ComEd also provided homeowners with helpful information on how they could save energy and money by taking steps to lower their energy use.
ComEd asked George to help spread the word about these ten homes and families, engaging with media outlets to ensure other customers learned of opportunities to save. George was a natural, and his passion for helping others become wiser energy users shone through in each interview. As his passion grew, so did the requests to become a spokesperson to tell ComEd’s energy efficiency story in a fun, visually exciting way.
The Energy Doctor was born.
As the Energy Doctor, George helps customers keep their homes and wallets healthy by providing them with simple steps to use less energy and save more money.
“We wanted to create something memorable,” George says. “A doctor is a trusted source of information whose focus is to make, and keep, people healthy. ComEd saw the Energy Doctor as a relatable way to help customers make the connection that an energy-efficient home is a healthy home.”
George’s motto is, “Every energy-saving action counts.” Simple actions like sealing attics, keeping the thermostat a few degrees lower (or higher, depending on the season), and keeping vents clear of furniture and drapery to maximize air flow can make a big difference. Reversing the direction of the ceiling fan, for example, can help keep a home warm in the winter by pushing warm air that rises to the ceiling back down into the room.
Nearly a decade and many public appearances later, George still dons the white Energy Doctor coat and goes out to help customers make their homes healthy. Most recently he traveled to Rockford to make an early-morning appearance on NBC affiliate WREX Ch. 13’s morning show to share tips with the show’s host and viewers.
The Energy Doctor has a virtual presence as well. Customers can email their energy efficiency questions to the Energy Doctor at mailto:AskTheDoctor@ComEd.com or visit ComEd’s Facebook page and Twitter page.
George says he sees the Energy Doctor as a role that will become more important over time as more people, particularly young people, take a greater interest in sustainability. They will be looking for energy tools that help reduce greenhouse gasses or decrease their carbon footprint.
“The Energy Doctor will be there as we begin to embark on our journey to boost all of the energy-saving programs ComEd offers,” George says. “We’d also like to help young people gain a greater awareness of energy efficiency as they grow up and become the leaders of tomorrow. Perhaps some of them will want to become doctors, even if it’s only on TV, like me.”
Energy Efficiency programs are funded by ComEd customers in compliance with Illinois law.